Star Wars: Ahsoka Episode 3: One of the criticisms of these Star Wars live-action television series has always been their length (barring Andor). At 32 minutes long (with credits), these episodes have always been too short, with not enough critical or meaningful events occurring. For some fans, the criticism also stems from wanting to stay in that world for just a bit longer. While this episode of Ahsoka could also be the victim of similar criticisms, Filoni’s experience at writing animated television episodes of 25 to 30 minutes in length comes in handy here, where action as well as character developments get equal and balanced focus in a primarily enjoyable episode.
Star Wars: Ahsoka Episode 3 “Time to Fly” Recap:
It is interesting that the training module that Luke had been taught by Obi-Wan Kenobi—that of wearing a helmet with closed visors and training by using the Force against a training droid or a Jedi master — is finally given a name: The Zatoichi. It is not the most subtle of inferences, but Filoni is following in his master’s footsteps by taking inspiration from old Chanbara films and Westerns to expand Star Wars lore. Case in point – Zatoichi, the famous blind swordsman who has 26 feature films to his name.
The training sequence between Ahsoka and Sabine thus doesn’t really have much to show beyond proving Huyang’s statement that Sabine’s hold on the Force is worse than most Jedi younglings and Sabine’s statement that weapons she could handle because of her prowess as a Mandalorian, but the other stuff” that eludes her. But as Ahsoka says, while everyone has the Force within them, not everyone has the talent to control it. She advises, in a rare moment of openness as a Jedi master, to start small by pulling the “coffee cup”(?) closer. That openness is also seen in her subsequent conversation with Huyang, where she berates him for telling her about her inability to control the force and also passively acknowledges the failure of the Jedi order and protocol, both as a result of her own history and due to the events of Order 66. Perhaps Ahsoka is trying to mend her mistakes and become a new master of her own, and perhaps her interactions with Luke (“The Book of Boba Fett”) helped her understand her own limitations.
Back at the Rebel base (the same base in Return of the Jedi), Hera finally has a conference with the senate of the New Republic led by Mon Mothma (Genevieve Reilly), where she informs them about the events at the shipyards of Corellia and how there is a conspiracy to bring back Grand Admiral Thrawn to lead another iteration of the Empire. The problem is that most of the Senate is complacent and still unable to believe that a few dissenters would be enough to strike the fires of a fascist regime, and according to one senator, this is another ploy by Hera to ask for New Republic funds to increase the search for Ezra Bridger, who had died heroically with Grand Admiral Thrawn. But as we know, both Thrawn and Ezra disappeared while being held by the purgills (space whales), whom we also got a glimpse of in Mandalorian Season 3 and will see later in this episode.
Speaking of Rebels characters, as the unsuccessful meeting ends, Hera is met by Jacen, her human-Twil’iek hybrid son, who is excited that “Aunt Sabine is training to be a Jedi”, according to Chopper. He wistfully wishes to be a Jedi himself, and while Ahsoka wisely doesn’t elaborate, Rebels fans know that Jacen is the son of Kanan Jarrus, AKA Caleb Dume, an ex-Jedi and leader of the Rebels family, as well as the master of Ezra Bridger.
Hera informs us of her unsuccessful attempts to bring New Republic backup as Ahsoka and her team drop out of hyperspace to enter the Daneb system. They are immediately under fire by three fighter pilots, led by Shin Hati, the mysterious Marrok, and other throwaway pilots. As Sabine tries to control the tail gun, both Ahsoka and Sabine realise they are both rusty and start working together to destroy the pilots. All the while, Huyang is urging them to get closer to the planet so that he can scan the structure hidden behind it. As the ship finally gets to see the hyperspace ring (the Eye of Sion) visually, it is shot in the tail wing by Morgan Elsbeth with the help of the guns on the Eye of Sion, injuring and incapacitating Huyang while letting the ship drift mid-space. Urging Sabine to bring back power and repair as much as she can, Ahsoka wears a space suit and gets out on the wing of the ship, opening up her lightsabers and managing to destroy one of the ships as Sabine finally brings back power.
Ahsoka barely enters the ship as Sabine takes control and navigates the ship inside the planet. As they go through the foggy atmosphere, they are suddenly met by the same purgills. Sabine expertly glides and manoeuvres by their massive bodies and their tail fins, managing to lose both Shin Hati and Marrok as they land in the forest of the Daneb system and kill the power of their ship so that they aren’t discovered.
Star Wars: Ahsoka Episode 3 “Time to Fly” Ending Explained:
As they watch the ships fly over the forest, Ahsoka and Sabine finally chance upon it and power up their ship. Huyang finally wakes up from his slumber as his backup battery kicks in and informs them that what they saw was a large hyperspace gate, with the final power source being put into place. Theoretically, these hyperspace gates are capable of ensuring that ships can jump to neighbouring galaxies as they follow the travel patterns of the purgills. This immediately perks both Ahsoka and Sabine’s ears and is also an important lore expansion. But they don’t have time to rest on their laurels, as we realise that Baylan Skoll is also on that planet and orders his forces to search the forest as the episode ends.
While this show still has all the typical criticisms of being flatter than necessary in acting, for Star Wars fans, Ahsoka is at least moving full steam ahead in terms of plot progression while still trying to be vague enough to be new viewer-friendly. The space whales could still be a lot, but yes, Star Wars is quite esoteric, and Filoni has a special affinity for these esoteric perspectives. So far, this season is not half bad.